Thursday, 5 July 2012

World War One in the Air

The last two games held at my place have been air combats over the Western Front in World War One. We have a mature ruleset, written over twenty years ago which has withstood the test of time and remains largely unchanged over that period.

The rules are hex-based and we use Skytrex 1/144 scale aircraft mounted on flying bases although we have demonstrated the game at shows using 1/72nd scale models. The rules are very simple but are comprehensive enough to cover many facets of the period.

Above is a Sopwith Camel with its status pin board which records all its salient details. From the top it shows the aircraft name and its damage factor. A Camel is rated as having 9 airframe damage points and has already received one point of damage, indicated by the Green pin.

The Red, White and Blue sections relate to Low, Medium and High altitude bands and you can see that the Turn, Speed, Dive and Climb factors vary according to the altitude band that the aircraft is in. This is indicated by the Speed pin in the White sector at Throttle setting 7 (Yellow pin) and also the White D20 behind the aircraft model. This is at level 11 so if the Camel were to continue at Throttle setting 7 and make a maximum Dive of 4 it could move at Speed 11. Conversely if it were to Climb 3 levels it would only move at Speed 4.

The lower section of the board records hits in Critical Areas, the Pilot Quality status, the Gunnery factors and the Ammunition status. In this case it is an Average pilot (Blue pin) with no aircraft damage but all the ammunition has been used (White pin). The White and Red pins at the top are unused at the moment.


  1. Very cool! I would be tempted to draw some trenches on a few of them with a pen too!

    1. Hi Paul

      Yes, my chums in my playing group are working up a campaign structure which will include various missions for both single seaters and two seaters. Trench strafing, bombing and photo reconnaissance will be in there somewhere so we will need to find a way of marking tactical objectives on the tiles.

      Thanks you for your suggestion!